Twins Need to Pull The Trigger On Beltre

Grant HadlichContributor IJuly 16, 2008

When the July 31 trade deadline passes, it will be obvious whether the Minnesota Twins are contenders or pretenders in 2008.

To end out the month of July, the Twins have a huge four game series with the AL Central leading, White Sox, in what is shaping up as a potential Battle Royal.

While the White Sox seem intent on standing pat at the trade deadline, the Twins, on the other hand, need to make a move before the deadline.

Enter Adrian Beltre.

Minnesota has lacked a big bat playing at third for most of the decade and Twins' General Manager, Bill Smith, should take the initiative to change that.

Justin Morneau, fresh off winning the HR Derby and scoring the winning run in the All-Star game, would be first in line to thank Minnesota's newest, GM as Beltre would offer much more protection for Morneau than current Twins' DH Jason Kubel.

This year, Justin has 68 RBIs and is second in the AL in hitting at .323 without any significant protection behind him.

Another aspect that Adrian Beltre brings to the Twins is an impact right-handed batter.

Finger issue’s all year and Delmon Young simply is not producing at a high level has hampered Michael Cuddyer. 

The best right-handed batter in the Twins starting lineup is Alexi Casilla and he is switch hitter.

The rest of the right-handed batters in the Twins lineup have been inconsistent at best. 

Adding Beltre would give this Twins team a big boost from the right-handed batter's box.

Adrian Beltre is no slouch defensively at 3B either.

Coming off of winning the Gold Glove at third base last season, Beltre would fit perfectly into the Twins philosophy of playing great, fundamentally sound defense in the field.

With the addition of Beltre at third, Minnesota would have a defensively dynamic infield of Morneau at first, Casilla at second, Nick Punto at short, and Beltre at third.

This is quite an improvement over the Twins' slow, error prone group of opening day starters, which included the likes of Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, and Brendan Harris.

With a fleet footed outfield including Denard Span, Carlos Gomez, and Delmon Young and a rebuild infield, the Twins will have gone from one of the worst defensive teams in the AL to one of the AL's best.

Seattle mired in a dismal season and wishing to dump Beltre's contract, might just trade him for good prospects if the Twins eat most, if not all, of Beltre's contract.

Minnesota would be happy to pay his contract, seeing as the team failed to sign free agents Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, and Carlos Silva.

Trading for Beltre just makes sense for the Twins.